Samsung Partners with Major Korean Firms to Develop Blockchain-Based Mobile ID Network

Tech giant Samsung Electronics has formed a consortium with six other major South Korean firms to develop and launch a blockchain-based mobile ID system, local media outlet Korea Times reported on July 14.

According to the report, the participants in this partnership include financial services firms KEB Hana Bank, Woori Bank, KOSCOM, as well as mobile carriers KT, SK Telecom, LG, and tech giant Samsung Electronics. The goal of this partnership is to create a “self-sovereign” authentication solution, that will allow its users to verify their identity and qualifications. The aim is to get rid of middleman services, and allow users to have more control over their personal information.

The consortium-developed mobile system will let its users store key personal information such as resident registration numbers and bank account numbers on a smart device and submit only the data they choose. The system will first be applied for issuance and distribution of graduation certificates from universities in Korea and to the Koscom’s platform for unlisted startup stocks. There is also a plan to use the system for mobile electronic certificates for the 3 telecoms’ new career recruitment process.

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The system will also be developed around a consortium blockchain model, with network nodes being operated by the participating firms and from their own servers. The roles of each firm in this partnership have also been decided, with the financial services firms providing certification services, the telecom companies making sure there is a stable mobile service, and Samsung providing a secure management of the stored data. The consortium has said in a statement:

“The project will create the strongest possible synergy effect as the participants are top leaders in their respective fields. Cooperation among ICT, telecom and financial services will help people experience new and advanced services.”

Reportedly, Samsung will manage user data with their enterprise mobile security solution Samsung Knox, which is pre-installed on most of its tablets, smartphones, and wearables. The system will be in beta by the end of 2019 and a decision on whether to commercialize it will be made by in 2020. The report also stated that the consortium will try to on-board more partners in 2020, such as large businesses, universities, hospitals, insurers, entertainment facilities, resorts, and country clubs.

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